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CBC: 1 in 5 Canadians infected with HIV doesn’t know it

December 1, 2017 — 

As CBC reports

One in five Canadians infected with HIV doesn’t know it, so federal scientists are looking for ways to make testing more accessible.

“The behaviours associated with HIV transmission are highly stigmatized, and that can result in individuals in certain populations not wanting to come forward and be tested,” says Paul Sandstrom, director of the National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

“We can’t just be sitting back and waiting for a sample to arrive in the laboratory … We’ve had to come up with new strategies where we can engage the community and individuals within the community — essentially take the laboratory outside of the laboratory.”

On World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says there’s a new HIV infection in Canada every three hours…

MKO and the University of Manitoba have applied for funding for HIV/AIDS research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The proposal says First Nations in northern Manitoba are not involved in the planning and implementation of UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. It goes on to say that rapid point-of-care tests for diagnosis and treatment can make a positive difference in disease outcome and transmission, but interventions have to be culturally appropriate.

“We hypothesize that intervention programs for HIV diagnosis and treatment that are responsive and respect First Nations culture and local environment will increase testing and linkage to care,” the proposal adds.

Read the full story here.

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